The Board of the ABSW gives its full support to former President and current Board member Connie St Louis, Director of the MA in Science Journalism at City University London.
Connie St Louis has been the subject of online abuse and of attempts to discredit her professionally, simply for pursuing a story that she thought correctly was interesting and important.
The comments tweeted by Connie St Louis highlight the issue of sexism in science and the frustration that many feel at the slow progress being made to address it. The reaction has included the #distractinglysexy campaign which has drawn attention to women scientists as intelligent, funny and clever women and great career models.
However, this positive development has been overtaken by a media furore directed at Connie for the everyday act of reporting a news story. As an organisation of science writers which fosters excellence in journalism, we are deeply disturbed by this behaviour.
The ABSW would like to see a healthy debate on the issue of sexism in science, and has commissioned research on sexism in science journalism. Its members recognise that they have a role to play in the way they portray women scientists.
Journalists need to be free to carry out their jobs without fear of personal attack. The ABSW Board is proud to support Connie, as it will support any of its members who may find themselves subject to such abuse in future.
City University has now issued a statement, along with a statement from Connie St Louis:
Yesterday's blog by Professor Uta Frith, Chair of the Royal Society Diversity Committee, soundly refocuses attention on the issue of sexism in science:
UCL has also released a strong statement regarding its commitment to equality for women in science: